Additionally, the Romanos converted exclusively to waterborne paints in order to reduce hazardous wastes by 96%. According to Chuck Romano, “we were the very first shop in Southwest Florida to use Sherwin- Williams Waterborne exclusively with no other paint line as an option… Since being the first shop to use waterborne and using a new Garmat 3000 with Accele-Cure™, there have been many, many inquiry phone calls as to how we like the product and our input into the production aspect of the product. There have been a number of shops that have added waterborne; however, I believe that we are still the only one that is exclusively waterborne.”
In addition to utilizing waterborne paints, the shop also contributes to the current green efforts by using an ultra-efficient air compressor and aluminum air lines. They have also installed high efficiency and high output lighting to reduce the amount of energy they use, and all recyclable materials are handled as such, helping West Coast Collision to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment. As they inform customers on their website, “the trend in the marketplace is definitely moving toward greener, environmentally friendly products and methods of doing business. We are doing this before it becomes mandatory by law here in Florida as it is now in California and Canada”.
West Coast Collision receives a balanced number of older and recent model vehicles, but they have not have any serious matching problems as they have been able to handle any issues that arise by blending. This is important to Chuck Romano who feels that the industry has recently trended toward a requirement for more efficiency with no tolerance for error.
Chuck believes that the future of the industry lies in collision centers becoming more like claims processing centers as collision front offices are working more closely with the insurance direct repair programs and dealing directly with customers. This is important as both insurance companies and customers are becoming more demanding.
“We see that the evolution and expense of the automobile has created a customer that is more aware and wants to know more about how the vehicle is repaired so as to retain its value at trade-in time. They are very fearful of CARFAX reports! Also, we see insurance partners wanting more detail and photo documentation in how a claim is handled for their files and future reference, with an increasing number of forms that need to be detailed and signed,” Chuck told Autobody News.
The shop encompasses 7,100 square feet and is staffed by nine employees. Of the nine employees that work at West Coast Collision, three are body professionals, two are painters and one focuses on parts while the remaining three employees are office personnel. The shop repairs approximately fifty-five vehicles per month. In addition to collision repair services, the shop offers towing, frame straightening, paintless dent repair, detailing, scratch removal and end of lease repairs and clean-up.
West Coast Collision is stocked with standard body equipment, as well as ProSpot welders, a Garmat 3000 with Accele-Cure™ to flash waterborne, Garmat Prep stations, a Chief Impulse EVHT frame rack and a New International flatbed. They also use a Genesis computer measuring system and CCC One management and estimating system. Technicians are I-Car certified. The shop is AMI and AAM Manager certified, and they participate in direct repair programs with State Farm, Allstate and California Casualty.
The Romanos are proud of their curb appeal, location and professionalism, listing these as reasons for their success. “My wife, Brenda, and I just love the business. We created a type of Feng-Shui atmosphere here in our offices that instantly makes people feel relaxed and at east. It’s actually a real pleasure to come here to work”. They plan to continue growing and refining their business through the use of Defined Measurable Improvement (DMI).
West Coast Collision is also involved with the community through the local Chamber of Commerce and supporting the local Police departments. They have also donated to local sports teams, Jr JC’s and Toys for Tots. They even donated funds to the roadway improvement in front of the shop to build a landscaped center island.
West Coast Collision
901 Country Club Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33990